seattle sights.

Seattle is such a gorgeous city, I loved exploring different neighborhoods (Capitol Hill and Belltown were my favorites). There are so many great things to do and see in the city. If you visit, don't miss these spots:
We walked to Kerry Park on our first night (I won't lie, it was exhausting...Seattle is HILLY) but the ammmmazing view was totally worth it. If you're planning a visit, consider traveling in July. The weather was GORGEOUS during our trip - blue skies, warm and sunny everyday.

I know it's touristy but I really love Pike Place Market. we visited early in the morning, just as the shops opened (on a weekday) and it wasn't very crowded. it was the perfect time to take it all in, without being run over by other visitors. I love the concept of a year-round city farmer's market and I've never been to one this large and historic. We visited the market a few times during our trip and it was fun to see it come alive with tourists and vendors (and yes, guys throwing fish!) We also spotted the nearby, "original" Starbucks but opted not to wait in the long line. 
Another fun spot is the market theater gum wall. It's a local landmark and it sort of reminds me of the Paris love-locks...but a little tackier!


good things - BlogHer 13 recap.

this weekend was a whirlwind of crazy, fun, good things. i decided last wednesday to attend the BlogHer 13 conference in Chicago on friday and saturday. i have blogging for almost 3 years (whoa time flies!) but this was the first large blogger conference i have attended and it was ahhhhmazing

i went to the conference by myself and although i wish i gave myself more time to mentally prepare (pick out what break-out sessions i wanted to attend, research what other bloggers were attending and think about what i really wanted to learn)... i had no choice but to just jump in, since i registered late. i stepped outside of my comfort zone, brought along some blogging business cards and met a TON of other bloggers and company reps who were super friendly. it was very inspiring to be surrounded by so many other enthusiastic and talented women. i am excited about the future of cornflake dreams and i motivated to make the time to be a better blogger.

conference highlights: 
-the friday keynote speaker: the pioneer woman! ree drummond was incredibly genuine and down-to-earth. she is a great business-woman and was so humble when describing her accomplishments (a great lesson to remember). 
-the break-out sessions: the Media Kit session was the most informative and practical session i attended, it was fascinating for me to hear from another marketing professional about how to present your blog + brand. you can read the session transcripts on the BlogHer website
-the expo hall: omg. there was food + goodies everywhere. i had more pillsbury funfetti donuts at the folgers lounge than i'd care to admit... and i also got the chance to connect with some great companies and i look forward to working with them in the future. 

conference tips (for newbies like me): 
-DON'T bring your laptop. a pen + paper are sufficient and MUCH lighter than lugging around your laptop + spare cord + laptop bag + all of your expo goodies...
-BE SELECTIVE at the EXPO hall...remember you have to carry that stuff around the WHOLE day. day one i came home exhausted with two EXPO bags filled to the brim + my laptop bag (+ a sore neck and shoulders...) i got some great products but i should have ditched that laptop bag!
-BRING blogger business cards!!! thankfully i had business cards leftover from a previous event, it's much easier to exchange information with contacts when you have a business card (and it's fun to see how bloggers and business design their cards!) remember to include your blog name, email and all of your social media contact info.
-HAVE FUN and TALK to EVERYONE - conferences can be tiring but take advantage of the unique face-to-face opportunity to meet and talk to other bloggers! 

have you attended a blogger conference? which one?! 
did you like it? do you have any other conference tips?


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psst: this is not a sponsored post - i just wanted share my conference story :) 
but you WILL be informed when i have sponsored or review posts in the future. yah! 


pacific northwest: must eats.

This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone...but one of my favorite things about traveling is the FOOD! The Pacific Northwest did not disappoint and we had a lot of great meals (and treats) last week! here's my favorites:
-Bacon jam burger with arugula and blue cheese - Skillet Diner - (they have a food truck + counter too!) the famous food truck was featured on the Cooking Channel's "Eat Street" and the food was just as good as it looked on t.v. 
-French toast with tons of fresh berries from the breakfast bar - Portage Bay Cafe - i got the kids size and the serving was still huge.
-Blueberry crumb cupcake with brown sugar cream cheese icing + malt ice cream - Cupcake Royale - this is my new favorite combo!
-The gooch: hot sliced tri-tip beef, red onions, sharp cheddar cheese, horseradish mayo and a side of au jus on a demi baguette at Honey Hole - h's brother recommended this place, the sandwiches were huge and full of flavor. 
-Hot, fresh mini-donuts - Daily Dozen Donuts at Pike Place Market. confession: we split a dozen! but they were minis! I really like the chocolate sprinkle + cinnamon sugar toppings.
-Peanut butter chocolate oat cookie - Macrina bakery 

-Capt'n crunch donut - Voodoo Donuts my all-time favorite...beware of the sugar coma)
-h and I shared the spaghetti with braised pork, plum tomato, thyme and parmesan AND the herbed risotto with basil pesto, flava beans, roasted garlic - Clarklewis - the modern-american restaurant is located in a hip industrial area and I loved the open kitchen and lively atmosphere. 
-Ice cream - Salt & Straw - this was another place featured on The Food Network - they have tons of unique flavors like strawberry with cilantro lime cheesecake but I ordered the birthday cake and blackberries (SO refreshing) and i tried the salted caramel (crazy good).

Are you hungry yet?! 


seattle must see: chihuly garden and glass.

When we arrived in Seattle we walked around everywhere...first to Capital Hill for lunch at Skillet (more on trip eats later this week) then up a huge hill to Kerry Park for a stunning view of the city. We decided to end our first night of the trip with a visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit. It's located by Seattle's famous Space Needle and it was well-worth the admission fee. h doesn't like to spend a lot of time indoors on vacations, so museums are a rare treat for me. Thankfully, after five minutes in the exhibit h was blown away by all of the beautiful glass sculptures and he got some great photos with his paparazzi camera.
Northwest Room - Chihuly was inspired by Northwest coast native american baskets, blankets and photography and created glass baskets, cylinders and soft cylinders. There was lots of vibrant blue glass in the Sealife Room.Persian Ceiling -- this was my favorite room, all of the colors were so bright and vibrant!Mille Fiori - Italian for “a thousand flowers” fitting for the huge garden of glass.Ikebana and Float Boat - I loved the reflection of the boats!Drawing Wall + Chandeliers -it was fascinating to see the drawings paired with the glass chandeliers.

Glass House + Garden - there is a small garden adjacent to the exhibit hall with lots of bright glass sculptures in nature.

Are you a Chihuly fan?!


good things!

We're back!! I had a wonderful time in Seattle + Portland and I am sad our trip is over. I'll admit i am exhausted, the jet lag has has hit me pretty hard and we walked almost 60 miles last week (h brought his pedometer!) a full recap of our trip will be up later this week...in the meantime, here are a few sneak peek photos:  
Seattle's gorgeous downtown waterfront
 Art installation at Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park 
Pretty succulents grow everywhere in the Pacific Northwest!
h's favorite sign :) It's even more fun at night

Stay tuned for more! 


guest post: coach house pictures.

Hi everyone, this is Liz dropping by today from Coach House Pictures. First I'd like to send a shout out to the cutest couple Jillian & H and wish them a happy wedding anniversary and hope they are enjoying there trip to Seattle this week! 

Today I wanted to share with you a great way to add a small personal touch to your wedding invitations, by adding a liner.  I recently got married (less than 3 weeks ago) and we used this idea to give our envelopes a fresh pop of color while also staying within our DIY friendly budget. It's really a simple and fun way to add a little more personality to your invitations and also gets your envelopes a little more weight and heft to them. Plus its a fun way for you and your hunny to create something together. So gather your materials, pour yourselves a glass of wine and hit the play button on your favorite Pandora station and follow these simple steps to help you tie together your wedding invitation suite!

* Envelopes 
* Roll of wrapping paper/ sheets of decorative paper to match your invitations
* Scissors

STEP 1: Find the envelope template in your kit that matches your envelope size. We used a standard size of A7 envelopes. Being by tracing your template on your 
paper. To avoid cutting so much we lined up the edges of one side of the template so we would only have to cut that side once, instead of twice. Trace a few more than you need in case you make a mistake later.
STEP 2 & 3 : Once your liners have been cut out, slip one into your envelope just below the adhesive edge of the envelope as shown in step 3. 
Once in place fold the envelope with the liner inside to create a crease in the liner (not shown).
STEP 4: Open your envelope and separate the liner from the envelope. With your tape runner run 2 strips of tape along the inside of the liner.

STEP 5: Close the envelope so that the liner and envelope adhere. 

STEP 6 & 7: Press the envelope on both sides making sure that the 2 papers stick to each other well. Open your envelope and viola! 

Your wedding invitations are well on there way to being as beautiful as your wedding will be! My husband and I tackled this DIY project in 2 nights and made 140 envelopes to go with our invitations. Enjoy this time together and happy DIYing :)

xo, liz from coach house pictures

psst: there's still time to enter the shabby apple dress giveaway!


guest post: crimson kiss.

While Jillian + H are off to Seattle and Portland, I thought I'd share a little about my recent vacation to Savannah. Before we left, I read every chic city guide and knew every blogger-approved spot–but what no one told me was how to build a perfect day in Savannah. While wandering this stunning city was spectacular (and worth the blisters), this little insider's guide will make your adventure a little less hit-or-miss!

 Spend the morning on Broughton Street
For your caffeine fix, The Coffee Fox makes a fabulous cup of joe–or a café con leche, if that's more your speed. Just down the street are The Paris Market and the Savannah Bee Company, both fabulous shops full of little treasures to bring home. And if you work up an appetite window shopping, Papillote is the perfect place for a croque Monsieur or crab and mango tartine.

Stroll down Bull Street in the afternoon

Pop into shopSCAD as you explore Savannah's Spanish moss-covered parks, and when you've had enough of walking, share a bottle of rosé at The Public Kitchen off Chippewa Square. If you haven't read it already (and even if you have), pull out a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and spend the afternoon under an oak tree in Forsyth Park.

Drinks, dinner and dessert
Have a cocktail at 22 Square (the mint julep was heavenly) before dinner reservations at The Olde Pink House–I'd love the recipes for their She Crab soup and shrimp & grits. As the sun sets, stroll along the river before sharing a banana split at Leopold's, or people-watch from a balcony room at The Marshall House. And get some rest, because I think scrambled eggs with grits at Tybee Island's Breakfast Club are in order for tomorrow!
xo, Lena of A Crimson Kiss

psst: there's still time to enter the shabby apple dress giveaway!



wedding season.

summer means that it's wedding season!! i've only attended one wedding this summer but i have one more to go, so i thought it'd be a good idea to round-up some wedding gift ideas for my july houzz ideabook
[browse all of my houzz ideabooks]


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ps have you entered the shabby apple dress giveaway!


wedding wednesday: our vows.

this time last year i was preparing for our wedding weekend, i can't believe it's already one year later! this weekend i'll probably watch our wedding video and reminisce (and i am sure i'll cry a few happy tears). i have only watched the video once (right after i got it a few months after the wedding) but my favorite part is our vows. i love that we had personalized words for each other and i have sweet memories of writing them with h on our patio...
[photo by dawn e roscoe
more photos: ceremony - first kiss - receptiondetails - flowers - honeymoon: paris & prague

h and i are leaving for our trip to seattle + portland next monday. i can't wait to celebrate our anniversary and h's brother's wedding! it will be wonderful to spend some quality time together and with family. (thank you again for all of your trip suggestions!) i have some wonderful guest bloggers lined up for next week, so be sure to stop by.



good things.

there's nothing like a nice long weekend :) mine was full of bike rides and really good meals: a chicken and pesto sandwich at jerry's with friends, giordano's deep dish spinach, garlic and tomato pizza with family, homemade zucchini, artichoke and chicken pasta and an ice cream cone at navy pier. 
follow on instagram for more photo fun :)
we were able to watch fireworks from our living room (the neighborhood put on quite the show!) and we finally caught up with the latest season of mad men. i am curious to see how don draper recovers from this season! i ended the weekend with another barre class (it was really challenging again but i feel great!) 


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good things.

happy monday! i had a great weekend that started with a beautiful wedding::

-i met liz and joe through a mutual blog friend. they are a great couple (and v talented photographers!) liz is a DIY-queen and her wedding was pinterest worthy with tons of personal touches (and great food)! we had a great and i was happy to get h on the dance floor. 
-i wore a dress from Rent the Runway to the wedding and it was a hit. the dress fit perfectly (they send you two sizes!) and the whole process was easy (RTR sends you a prepaid envelope to send the dresses back after the rental date). 
-we didn't make it to the reunion on saturday, h forgot his pager so we had to drive back to the city on friday night. (yes...totally weird that doctor's still use pagers, right?!)
-on sunday i went to my first barre class (at Barre Bee Fit in River North) with my bff Jen (she's the runner in our group and she's training for the chicago marathon! we used to take a bootcamp class together, so it was fun to workout together again). the barre class was tough...i haven't worked out that hard in months years. half way through, i wanted to collapse and take a nap... so by the end of the class i was thrilled that i made it out alive. barre was much more challenging than anything i ever did in bootcamp but it feels SO good to use different muscles and get my heart rate up. i can't wait to go back :)

cheers to a short work week and lots of 4th of july fun! 

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